While the world would have us believe that gender is a cultural construct individuals are forced into, Scripture reveals gender was God’s idea. And gender, whether we are male or female, is both determined and fixed by God.
Only twenty-seven verses into the first book of the Bible, we read, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). Looking at the context, we can interpret the word “man” in this verse to mean mankind.
When God decided to create mankind for His glory and to best represent His image, He did not design one gender or three genders. He crafted them in two genders, male and female. This is the design of our Creator and yet another aspect of His glory. Jesus also affirmed this truth in the New Testament. In Mark 10:6, while being questioned about marriage and divorce, Jesus said, “But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’” And because Biblical Christianity should be, above everything else, biblical, we can look to these passages to reveal what a man is physically.
A man PHYSICALLY is an adult male made in the image of God.
Knowing this is vital to our discussion on manhood. Everything God does is by design. First, He determines in His sovereignty to make us. Then, as He knits us together with great intentionality, He purposefully fixes our gender in the womb. We see this in Psalm 139:13-14: “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
I point this out because, while the transgender community does not seem to have a problem with the idea of gender, they do believe there are individuals whose bodies do not match their gender. In other words, someone may be born with the body of a woman but feel like a man, or they may be born with the body of a man yet feel like a woman. We should show up with compassion and sensitivity amid this kind of confusion, but we must know that Scripture does not make a distinction between our biological sex and our gender. They are one and the same.
Professor Andrew T. Walker says it this way, “If God made men and women fundamentally and comprehensively different, then the idea that a man could ever become a woman (or vice versa) is simply impossible. The differences between men and women can’t be overcome simply because one person feels they’re a member of the opposite sex. Your psychology (feelings) cannot change your ontology (being).”
This means that, physically, no one has the ability to become a man. Gender is not fluid. Men are men because God made them men in the womb. You cannot change your chromosomal makeup. You cannot change your biology. Yes, people can surgically mutilate the body. You can dress it up and make it up, but you cannot change a woman into a man or a man into a woman. So while how a person chooses to express his or herself sexually is a choice, gender is fixed. You are made either male or female.
Even secular science confirms there are innate differences between men and women. Here are a few facts from an article that I found interesting:
- Men typically have thicker skin—by about 25 percent. They also have higher densities of the protein collagen.
- The differences in density goes beyond skin deep. Usually, men also have denser, stronger bones, tendons, and ligaments than women.
- There are differences in the way male and female brains are structured, how they process information, and interact with chemical signals. Some examples: men have more information-containing gray matter, but women have more white matter, which connects different parts of the brain. Also, women have bigger memory centers than men.
- A woman’s circadian rhythm is more likely to be short of a 24-hour period. (They’re often six minutes short of a full day.) Men are more likely to be night owls. But women function better during periods of sleep deprivation.
- An average adult female has about 15–70 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) of testosterone. An average adult male has about 270–1070 ng/dL. Every year after age 30, men’s testosterone levels drop about one percent. That doesn’t happen for women. But women do see their estrogen levels fall off after menopause.
- On average, men typically have more muscle mass than women. And those skeletal muscles are faster and more powerful. But women’s muscles more readily resist fatigue and are faster to recover.
Our Maker made us different, and He did so for His glory. Our differences as men and women are foundational to society. God did not build society through church or government, though those organizations are in the Bible. The building block of society is the family, and the building block of the family is heterosexual, monogamous marriage. God places men and women together, their strengths and weaknesses beautifully complementing one another for the growth and nurturing of the next generation of men and women.
God’s glory is displayed in our differences. Differences He has chosen in His goodness and sovereignty.